Dubai Resume (CV) Writing Tips

Regardless of the technical meaning of either CV or resumé, for Dubai employment purposes, they are the same thing. Since the word CV is more commonly used in Dubai, we’re going to use it throughout this article.

Here, I’ll tell you about Dubai specific issues that you need to be aware of when writing your Dubai CV. If you need general instructions on how to write CVs, there are hundreds of free websites that can give you that. Use Google to find them, but for a Dubai specific CV, stick here.

Let’s get started.

There Are No Anti-Discrimination Laws in Dubai

Dubai is a free town. (Well, at least in this regard it is). No one tells the employers what and what not to look for in an employee. Employers can ask you all kinds of questions and they can judge you based on any criterion they deem necessary. What does this mean for your CV? Well, many things…

Include Your Photo

For your Dubai CV to be effective, you gotta include a photo of yourself. The photo tells the employers many of the things that they would want to know about you. Like, do you look hot and presentable? Or, what ethnic group do you belong to, is it one of which the employer favors? (Yes, this thing happens in Dubai, unfortunately)

In any way, your photo also makes your CV look more human and attractive.

Include Your Nationality

What if you are a unique human being of mixed races? What if it’s hard to tell your ethnicity by your photo? In this case, include your nationality. If you are a dual-citizen include the better nationality. This might not work for some people, though, as their name may reveal their real nationality. Like, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon with a U.S. passport!

Moreover, regardless of how much of an individual you are, your nationality could tell many real things about you. Set things straight from the start and reveal it in your CV.

Include Your Date of Birth

No 45-year-olds need apply to this Marketing Assistant position. It’s common practice for employers to want to filter-out candidates based on their age. And it is common for candidates in Dubai to include their age on their CV.

Your Gender is a Factor

There are job listings in Dubai where they will ask for a specific gender, age and ethnicity. Like

Personal Assistant to The General Manager Needed

Gender: Female

Age: 25-35

Nationality: Lebanese or Western

More like a personal ad than a job posting, if you ask me! But, what the heck, at least they are being honest. So, if your gender can’t be determined by your name or photo, mention it explicitly.

Did Anyone Mistakenly Tell You That Your CV Should Not Be More Than One Page in Length?

That’s what they told me, and they were wrong! Especially for Dubai. In a couple of networking events and meetings, I handed out my one-pager, and people were turning it over to see what’s more. There wasn’t any. One guy asked me, “only one page?” From then on, I expanded my CV into two full-pages, and the phone started ringing!

Glorify, Exaggerate and Dramatize

I don’t care whether you are applying for an office administrator or a phone operator, write your CV as if you’re applying for the Chief Executive Officer position. If you’ve done any work, be it freelance, community work, school project, voluntary or anything, glorify it, exaggerate it, make it sound like the biggest project in the industry!

Here’s a little example:

You didn’t:

Efficiently entered data into a spreadsheet

What you did instead is:

Devised an efficient data-entry system that was approved by management and increased productivity by 70%

You’re not lying here. The way you quickly input data into a spreadsheet is a system that’s devised by you, and you kinda mentioned that Excel trick to the boss and he liked it…

Forget The Clean U.S. Style CV. You Need a Dubai Fancy Style CV

Career advisers tell people to have no styling in their CVs probably because they know that most people suck at styling documents. And that’s probably true. So, if you know for sure that you can style your CV and still keep it clean and easily readable, do it. Otherwise, your photo nicely aligned to the side in the header, with a couple of thin black borders here and there would do the job. To stay safe, you can have a professional review and critique your CV for free.

Either Write A Great Cover Letter, Or Forget It!

The most important aspect of a cover letter is how relevant it is. When you write your cover letter, you are much more likely to get results if the cover letter is addressed directly to the person who will be reading it.

Also, make your cover letter short and quick, but make sure that you give the reader a compelling reason to open up your CV and read it.

So you see, writing a CV for Dubai is definitely different from writing a CV for the U.S. or even the U.K. What’s been discussed in this article should keep you safe.

Professional Dubai CV Writing:

I recommend that you let a professional help you write your CV. Click here for a free CV review

CV Emailing Tips:

If your CV is ready for prime time, before you email your CV to anybody, make sure that you view and adhere to these important guidelines. They will increase the response you get.

Join us. Boost your Dubai career!


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